Start Your New Year’s Resolution Now
Don’t wait until January 1st, to tell yourself you are going to lose the 5-10 lbs you gained during the holiday season. Instead, here are some tips to avoid gaining weight during the most festive times of the year.
The warm months are when we indulge in homemade chili, soups and stew. Try replacing your recipes with healthier ones, or just replacing some ingredients. Go ahead and enjoy your spicy chili, because studies show that the ingredients in chili peppers can temporarily increase your metabolism up to 8 percent. Additionally, heat causes you to drink more water, which will help you wash out any toxins in your body. More importantly, switch to a leaner meat like ground sirloin. If soup is your type of comfort food, aim to cook soups that are lower in sodium. Sodium causes us to bloat and retain water. Soups made with broth tend to be healthier than creamy recipes, because there is less cream, which can be fattening. For soups and stew, add an extra helping of vegetables to make the dish fuller of nutrients.
Be Mindful During Festivities
When going through the line of your Thanksgiving feast, choose the white meat versus the dark meat. It has fewer calories and grams of fat. Take it easy on the gravy, load up on the vegetables and limit your starches (such as breads and mashed potatoes). After you have enjoyed the best meal of the year, offer to wash dishes. Studies show that standing up and moving around right after you’ve digested food makes it easier for your stomach to break down the food. It also allows your stomach to work faster, which will prevent you from feeling tired and overstuffed. Only the turkey should be overstuffed on the holidays.
When Christmas rolls around, cookies are everywhere. Do yourself a favor and limit yourself, or at least find a recipe that cuts back on sugar. Sugar replacements are ideal when baking desserts because pure sugar is the hardest thing for your body to breakdown. When your body is working overtime to breakdown sugar molecules, you are ready for the Christmas ham and your body is not. Think of it as a traffic jam. Sugar is causing a major back up in your body’s digestive system but 5 o’clock traffic is still trying to get home. If this simile doesn’t help you avoid sweets all together, at least bake a batch of cookies with a sugar substitute.
Exercising is always important, not only for general health reasons, but it is necessary if you are trying to lose or maintain weight. It’s not exactly easy to exercise during the winter months, especially if there is ice and snow outside. If you do not have a gym membership, at least invest in some dumbbells or a fitness hula-hoop to use while you are watching your favorite shows. Relaxing on the couch is a guilty pleasure for everyone, but when you indulge in this activity too often, you are considered a coach potato. Even a bit of movement is better than sitting.
By following these simple tips during the holidays, you are sure to avoid gaining weight. Then, you can choose a different New Year resolution like saving for a vacation to a beach where you can show off a new bikini.